Confront Big QQs with Strong EQ

Chiny Chewning

In his recently released, best-selling memoir Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, Bono describes the extraordinary talent of each of his U2 bandmates as, among other things, masters of their instruments. Of himself, however, he admits that his giftedness is neither instrumental nor vocal but rather it’s his ability to find the topline melody in anything – songs, random ideas, disparate thoughts, and even in the motivations of adversarial world leaders to help unite them around a common cause.

His is an ability to reach through the static and find the notes that, when brought together, can actually be useful. In fact, he describes his lifelong desire to be useful as a melody that runs through his own life.

What is Strategic Context?

Organic truth used in a strategic way brings insight and higher order value in any context.Knowing thyself is a critical agent in running a life or a business. We actually refer to brand purpose and values as Strategic Context or Glue EQ because awareness of these DNA-level truths can serve as a strategic way finder in every business context, good or bad. While economic context is undeniably important, we believe that understanding our onlyness and market-transcendent truths offers reliable focus in economic chaos and turns up the proper melody to drown out the tempting whispers of desperate imitations.

The World Uncertainty Index (yes there’s such a thing) tells us that uncertainty continues to be an increasingly growing part of everyday life. In these moments, Strategic Context becomes to us what instruments are to a pilot when inclement circumstances become the context. To cynics who dispel the notion of shifting focus in economically uncertain times from the grind to the ethos, we remind them that Strategic Context is not just some saccharine soft space, but rather a battle cry that re-grounds us and protects us from outsourcing our destiny to circumstances.

A Self-Aware Way to Grow Forward: Strategic Context in the Real World

Your Strategic Context shouldn’t just come out of the toolbox during seasons in the crucible. Its primary roles include driving belief with both your people and your public, defining ownable white space for market positioning and narratives, and informing ongoing business strategy that is fit for purpose.

Informing Product Strategy

When CVS chose to stand for the healthfulness of their customers, they were faced with a $2 billion dilemma of whether to continue selling tobacco products. Guided by their own Strategic Context, the decision became clear that their product strategy would need to shift from enabling tobacco use to helping people quit.

Innovating Service Strategy

Starbucks’ purpose “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time” birthed a new category norm where your drink is made to order, your name is called out and it’s written on your cup.

Inspiring Culture Strategy

After some collaborative soul searching, we helped Brightline, one of the world’s most innovative and sustainable high-speed passenger trains, define their brand purpose, core values, and narrative strategy. This short film was a first step in using their new topline melody to drive belief and pride among their own people.

Inaugurating Launch Strategy

In a shift from a house of brands to a united branded house, Argano reached out to GlueIQ to help express their new united business offering. Inspired by their newly minted Purpose of “fulfilling the promise of the Digital Renaissance for all,” we created this launch film.

Igniting a Relaunch Strategy

Because changing habits is often more challenging than changing minds, GlueIQ worked with Reyes Beverage Group to distill their onlyness and positioning opportunity, and created this relaunch film to drive belief among a very busy B2B audience in a new digital platform that would make their work easier and more effective.

Strategic Context is far more than just feel good slideware from some executive retreat. Its unique, excavated truths help ensure that you’re a guide with EQ, not a tourist, – or worse, a victim – in your own future.

To learn more about how we’re helping companies uncover their Strategic Context, or for help finding your own brand’s unique topline melody, feel free to reach out.

About the Author

Chiny Chewning

Chiny creates compelling brand and narrative strategies from a passion to drive belief inside and outside an organization. From financial corporations to CPG products to retailers to hospitality to not-for-profits. Expect extra passion if you’re a challenger brand.